INDIANAPOLIS — Jazz coach Quin Snyder didn’t want to make any sweeping judgments immediately following Wednesday’s 121-102 loss to the Indiana Pacers.
He wanted to examine the film first and see where the issues were.
“This isn't like one glaring thing we did,” Snyder said.
Not one glaring thing maybe — but a lot of them nonetheless.
The game featured ill-advised shots by Donovan Mitchell and Emmanuel Mudiay. There were defensive lapses inside and communication issues guarding the pick and roll. There was the poor shooting on open looks and Utah struggled to close out quarters. The Jazz had some bad box-outs that resulted in extra Indiana possessions and threw in 16 turnovers, too.
It was a smorgasbord of all the things the Jazz (11-7) have done poorly in the first month of the season. The problem was they all happened in one game. So, the result may not have been too shocking — especially against a team that Utah has struggled against in recent years.
“I think they are doing a great job,” Rudy Gobert said of the Pacers. “They have a tough mindset, they really play as a team and they really play tough. Nobody talks about them because they’re not a big market but everyone in the league knows they are a very good team.”
And they looked like it.
The Pacers’ pick and roll proved difficult to stop. Snyder mentioned the Jazz weren’t as physical as they needed to be and they didn’t communicate on that end the way they needed to.
“They were rolling guys down and we're switching thought we did a pretty good job of kicking guys out but that connectivity — communication is a big thing because it results in a lot of other things and you need that to clean up,” Snyder said.
Rudy Gobert, who was back after missing the previous two games with a sprained ankle (he said it felt fine after the game), pointed to the turnovers as one of the main culprits of the loss. Utah’s 16 was double the amount Indiana had and the Pacers scored 22 points off those.
“As a defensive-minded team when you give the ball to the opponent and allow them to get easy buckets, I think it puts your defense in a tough position and gives confidence to the other team,” Gobert said before later adding, “without those, it’s a different game.”
Then there was struggling to close out quarters. Indiana went on an 11-0 run right at the end of the second quarter. And then, after Utah had cut the deficit to just 3 points in the third, went on a 6-0 to end that quarter.
“Again, no sweeping (judgments) — usually when a team goes on a run at the end of the quarter, it’s a combination of things,” Snyder said. “I didn't think we executed like we needed to offensively and that led to some possessions defensively where we were playing uphill.”
Utah only shot 43.4% from the field, 31.2% from 3 and had an offensive rating of just 103.0. And with the way the Jazz were struggling to defend, that wasn’t nearly good enough.
Mitchell was 10 of 23 for 26 points, Mike Conley was 2 of 8 for just 5 points and Mudiay was 2 for 8 — his scorching hot mid-range game cooling off considerably in Indiana.
Domantas Sabonis and TJ Warren both had 23 points, Malcolm Brogdon had 22 and the Pacers shot 52.1% as a team.
Bojan Bogdanovic, playing in his first game back to Indiana since signing with the Jazz, scored 30 points on 8 of 13 shooting. In a sensational third quarter, Bogdanovic scored 17 points to bring the Jazz back to only down 3. But then the problems snuck up again.
And not just one.